Medical Group Shifts Stance on Assisted Suicide

Surgeons Expressing See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

(Daily News) – The Massachusetts Medical Society has dropped its longstanding opposition to physician-assisted suicide, which could give momentum to perennial legislation to legalize the controversial practice.

The society’s governing body last Saturday adopted a neutral stance on the practice, which it refers to as “medical aid in dying,” allowing the organization of about 25,000 physicians and medical students to “serve as a medical and scientific resource as part of legislative efforts.”

“We’re not recommending to the state what to do with this legislation, one way or the other,” said Dr. Henry Dorkin, the society’s president. “But this will allow us to testify and provide counsel to the Legislature as they discuss this issue in an even-handed manner.”

Dorkin said the society’s membership is split over the issue, though a majority of members support its new neutral policy. “It’s an area of intense passion on both sides of the question,” he said. “This was quite evident in our deliberations on the issue.” CONTINUE